Insights into the Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct

Last night, Nintendo held a special Nintendo Direct to help get fans a little more hyped for the new Smash Bros. game.

While there was some pretty cool information dealt out to fans there are a few details that stick out amongst the hundreds seen in the 39 minute presentation.

Here’s a quick list of insights:

It’s going to be Pokemon versus Nintendo, well not entirely

Smash_Bros._Greninja

Meet Greninja, one of Smash Bros. latest entrants.

More than any other Nintendo series, Pokemon received the spotlight during the presentation. From the new Master Ball item to Lucario’s return, pocket monsters are looking to be a huge focus in the new games. Think about it, what is the one invincible Nintendo franchise? By playing on the strengths of the new games – Mega Evolutions – Nintendo is bringing the Pokemon audience right to these new games by offering them giant cutscenes where Mario, Link, and Megaman are set to square off against Pikachu, Charizard, and Greninja. Pretty cool, eh?

Well, kinda. What Charizard means – aside from the Pokemon Trainer not returning as a character – is that other series might not come into focus in this new game. Roy and Marth from Fire Emblem helped sparked interested in the game series for North Americans. Smash Bros. Melee did this with a number of other series with Nintendo’s retro franchises like the Ice Climbers and Mr. Game and Watch. Their popularity paved the way for characters like Pit to crash onto the scene and get new games. However, our next fighter was also shown battling it out against Nintendo’s main cast of characters in his first trailer.

Only one Megaman

A whole pantheon of Megamen seen here during his Final Smash.

A whole pantheon of Megamen seen here during his Final Smash.

I still get jitters thinking about Megaman‘s first trailer. His appearance in the games is pretty cool bringing him back to Nintendo consoles in a way that’s just awesome. What this screenshot is indicative of is Nintendo acknowledging all of the different series he has been in over his many years including the Megaman X series, Megaman Legend series, Megaman Command Mission, and the Megaman Battle Network series. What this screen to me says is this, “There’s no way Zero is going to be in the game.”

Arguably one of the most popular Megaman series on Nintendo consoles has been the Zero games on the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS. While he may look like a red, underpants-wearing robot the games were deep, immersive, and challenging pitting players against some pretty horrendous bosses during a time when Megaman was absent from Nintendo handhelds. Zero recently appeared in Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom on the Nintendo Wii and Marvel Vs. Capcom III, so fans might be satiated there, but with Megaman X showing up in this screen we can’t really expect to see Zero as a playable character in the new Smash Bros.

Poor Waluigi

He's so cute :3, Waluigi, I mean.

He’s so cute :3, Waluigi, I mean.

Poor, poor Waluigi. Certainly one of Nintendo’s most inexplicable characters, this sports-based alternate dimension version of Luigi has been waiting for years to be in the spotlight. When Smash Bros. director Sakurai appeared in the broadcast beside a little figure of him my heart jumped, but slowly came back down to reality. Assist Trophies are back in this iteration of the game and there are some new characters, but the trophies have always been a kind of indictment against series.

Little Mac, however, is one exception to this rule by showing up as a fully realized character in this game. In Smash Bros. Brawl, Wario – Mario’s counterpart – showed up in the game mostly due to his popularity. Characters like Elec Man, the Chain Chomp, Dark Samus, and Waluigi all showed up as trophies, which is great, but the more assists there are the fewer characters we’ll end up getting to play. In Brawl, characters like Isaac from the Golden Sun games, Lyn from Fire Emblem, and Saki Amamiya were are great candidates for actualized characters, but the last two actually showed up as assist trophies in the Nintendo Direct broadcast.

Kirby’s Air Ride was Awesome

Pretty cool stuff.

Pretty cool stuff.

Holy cow. When I saw that the new Smash Bros. game would be incorporating a kind of City Trial mode in the 3DS version, I was pretty surprised. City Trial was a competitive mode in Kirby’s Air Ride, which is still one of my favourite racing games from Nintendo. It gave players a time limit to find powerups and then pitted everyone in a competition at the end. Pretty cool stuff, but as fun as it was the mode always seemed to lose its appeal once a few games had been played.

A whole host of new online modes were announced for the two versions of the game, but I have to say I was disappointed to learn that the Smash Run mode would only be on the handheld version. It sucks to think that the games won’t be the same, but as Sakurai said repeatedly throughout the broadcast more information is coming.

We Need the Smash Bros. Dojo to Return

DOJO

Sorry for the weird capitalization in this last heading, but seriously I have never been less hyped for a Smash Bros. game than I am right now! The Smash Bros. Dojo was a website that revealed characters one-by-one to eager fans of the series. The website was updated pretty much everyday until the game’s release and it got me pretty excited for the new characters.

This was the last time I can remember consistently going to a video game’s website looking for new information. Maybe Nintendo figured that their direct presentations are a better format, but ever since the new games were announced I’ve been looking forward to the return of the Dojo. It really got you into the build up to the game instead of having to wait months to hear about new information. Letting out information little-by-little is really what made the website awesome and it kept us on the edges of our seats waiting to see who the next new face would be. NINTENDO BRING IT BACK! If you want people to pay attention and if you want to keep up your ever-increasing sales for the series get a small team to bring this back. However, fan entitlement sucks and I’m sorry if this sounded too harsh ._.

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